Hunting

Hunting ammunition prices expected to drop from pandemic prices

Last fall, supply chain issues made it difficult to find hunting ammunition.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Pennsylvania’s regular statewide gun deer season won’t begin until Nov. 27, though that shouldn’t stop hunters from getting ready now.

An ammunition shortage in 2021 has left gun shops struggling to stock up.

“It was a heavy demand for ammunition,” National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) spokesman Mark Oliva said.

FOX43 spoke with Freedom Armory owner Scott Miller in 2021 about the shortage.

“I’ve been telling customers here for a year, ‘if you need hunting ammunition, you better start looking for it now because it doesn’t exist,'” Miller said.

That may not be the case for the 2022 hunting season though. Oliva says ammunition makers have been working around the clock to keep up with demand.

“These people also had their shifts 24 hours a day, three shifts firing as much ammo as possible,” Oliva said. “We’re also seeing more capacity being brought to some of these factories.”

However, a recent decision by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) may cause more headaches for some hunters in the near future.

Lead ammunition, a traditional form of ammunition, is banned from use in 18 new hunting opportunities under the USFWS ruling, condemned by the NSSF.

“Part of this agreement is that they will phase out or ban the use of traditional lead ammunition in these areas,” Oliva said.

Some states offer incentives to switch to different types of ammunition, although Oliva says there are concerns.

“They’re going to have to pay higher prices for much rarer and much more expensive alternative ammunition,” Oliva said. “It really puts a pinch on their wallet.”

In 2019, hunters were spending 33 cents per game. The price soared to nearly a dollar at the height of the pandemic, but has since fallen.

“Overall we look a bit better than last year,” Oliva said. “It’s still not back to where we were before the pandemic.”

Oliva says hunters should stock up now, whatever ammo they plan to use.

“If you find that great ammo deal, you know, jump on it while you can,” Oliva said.

A complete list of season dates and state bag limits can be found on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website.

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